This is a pictorial map of the continental United States, printed by American illustrator Ernest Dudley Chase in 1941. Over the course of the early 20th century, pictorial maps like this one became increasingly popular. Perhaps as a reaction to the ubiquity of accurate and factually detailed maps, pictorial maps served to show not so much what a place’s borders might lay, as what the meaning of a place was, or what might be found there. Certainly, this map presents the lower forty-eight states accurately, and shows the locations of many of the states’ chief cities. But as the map’s title suggests, it focuses instead on the many wonders to be found within its borders, both natural and man-made. To this end, the image is packed with vignettes - fifty two alone border the map - depicting the country’s most famous monuments.
Publication History and CensusWe identify twelve examples of this map in institutional collections. Examples of different editions with varying color palettes appear on the market from time to time.
Ernest Dudley Chase (1878-1966) was an American illustrator of greeting cards and pictorial maps active in the first half of the 20th century. From his studio in Winchester Massachusetts, Chase became famous for his elaborately illustrated pictorial maps. He was born in Lowell Massachusetts and attended the Lowell Textile School and the Vesper George Art School. He took work with Butterfield Printing Company in 1900. In 1906 he moved to the W. T. Sheehan Printing Firm. He began producing postcards and greeting cards on his own account in 1908. This initial imprint was Des Arts Publishers, but later he changed it to Ernest Dudley Chase Publishers. Chase is best known today for his distinctive pictorial maps, most of which he published privately, characterized by densely packed vignette images of important locations. The biographical pamphlet A Meticulous Maker of Maps describes Chase's attention to detail wherein, pursuing a 'passion for perfection' by stippling his images 'dot-by-dot, with tiny pens' under a magnifying glass. His impressive corpus includes nearly 50 maps focusing various parts of the United States and Europe. Most are thematic, focusing on topics such as wonders of the world, stamps, aviation, and war. Others, such as his map of The Untied States as viewed by California and Loveland are satirical in nature. All are highly coveted by collectors today.
Very good. Marginal mend at bottom and left. Lower left corner mended with no impact on image.